The Last Great OS?

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Why is Windows XP a Great Operating System?

Windows XP has been around for over fourteen years and is still the most popular OS installed!

Personally I think Microsoft went off the deep end with Vista and keeps diving deeper with Windows 7 and now Windows 8, what about Windows 10?

I have been using it since it was a pre beta, the company I worked for was part of a program called JDP (Joint Development Program) with Microsoft and other large corporations that had a lot of computers that would be effected by a major change in an Operating System.

My first contact with Windows XP was in 1998 (just after I completed my MCSE) when my boss asked me to be a member of the JDP. Cool I get to play with a new toy!

Uhhhhh, not cool...

As they say in politics - "You don't want to watch how they make sausage." The same goes for developing a new OS.

I was also involved in the JDP for Vista in early 2004, after a couple of months I decided I my time would be better used doing my job than to be trying to make Vista run on some of the company computers, my boss agreed and let me drop out of the program. [The company did not buy into Vista, and last I heard they were not considering converting to Win Seven.]

Vista had a lot of problems when it was introduced and really did not become a stable operating system until after the first Service Pack was released. And today it still has more problems than Windows XP did in it's long history.

When it was released everyone was thinking it was an upgrade to Windows 2000. They were proven wrong in less than a month.

Windows XP was a major revision of the core programs that make the Operating System work, from the Kernel (the base program of the OS) to most of the drives for hardware to the hardware it would run on.

This Operating System has three major factors going for it

  • It has backward compatibility to Windows 95 (Try running DOOM on Vista/Win 7)
  • It has a smaller foot print for memory usage than Windows 2000 and most assuredly Vista and Win 7.
  • It will run on a 486 processor (if you still have one around, Windows 2000 wouldn't).

When MS introduced Window 98 they also started a program called "Driver Signing". Driver Signing means that MS has tested the driver and the hardware to not cause issues with the OS that the driver was written for then issues a certificate for the driver.

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This caused a lot of hardware manufactures to bulk at doing the extra work for their hardware, plus the fact that MS was charging a license fee for the certification of the drivers.

With the new Operating System MS dropped part of the Driver Signing program and would add a notice to the driver properties if the driver that was installed did not have a certificate from MS. MS still charges a fee for certifying a driver though.

Yes, a lot of hacker/thieves have found holes in it's security to hack in to computers but if the owner followed some simple rules then the chance of getting hacked would be almost zero! Don't blame MS for your failing to secure your computer Mr. IWASHACKED!

After over 15 20 years of use I still have it on all some of my computers, I have tried Linux, Mac OSx, Vista, and Win 7 / 8 / 10 but always come back to it.

Why?

Because like a great pair of old Jeans, it just feels good!  Smile...

P.S.

Microsoft's web site has set the date for pulling support for Windows XP: 8 April, 2014 (and over 1 Billon XP users are hoping that is an April Fool's Day joke... Me too!)

Update 04-12-15

I don't hold out much hope for Windows 10, after seeing the pre Beta version, will it be another MS fail???

Update 03-09-16

Windows 10 is the new 'de facto' OS by Microsoft... not a good sign, and the latest Linux distro is still the same old-same old programmers nightmare...

Update 03/05/20 - After a long time hardware has out paced XP, newer hardware manufactures are not supporting Windows 7 with drivers so what chance does XP have? I could say none at all however if you have some favorite programs you could use VM Ware Virtual Machine to keep XP operational for your program(s). At this time I am doing this because some software publishing companies have moved on when it comes to options, they are no longer available, they have tuned into features that can not be disabled. MS used to say "A better way of doing things" but gave you the option to turn the "better way" off if you didn't like it... Not now. [Yes, my newer systems run Windows 10...]



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